Category Archives: Sacred Vision

Lessons Learned from Pumpkin Carving

Self doubt creeps in and threatens to shut me down. It almost succeeds as I contemplate choosing easy over fulfilling or delegating the most challenging part.

I move forward with my vision as I have done in the past so many times, and this time I end up being rewarded with a pumpkin carved with love, intention, and vision, and a few lessons on the way.

img_20161031_135512Here they are…

It is always easiest to doubt yourself, but in the end it takes more energy than trusting yourself.

If you begin with self doubt and let it grow, you let yourself off the hook. You convince yourself you can’t do it, and so you don’t even try. What you lose is the chance to see the fruits of work done from a place of love, regardless of how it turns out. When you do this, you invite in regret, frustration, and if you’re like many people I know, you get down on yourself which sinks your energy a lot more than a bit of pushing through the feeling would have.

When you release perfection, beauty blooms.

This obsession we seem to have with perfection has got to stop, because it’s based on a false premise – that perfection actually exists. This is one of those times when I like to turn to nature. What would a ‘perfect’ tree look like? One with no knots in the trunk, a perfectly straight trunk? One that dropped it’s leaves with equal timing between each leaf? One that was filled only with flowers that bloomed to perfection? If such a tree existed, it would lack the character that makes a tree and tree. It is our knots, our curves and detours, our unpredictability, that make us who we are. We are so used to seeing polished versions of people’s lives, whether they are deeply so through airbrushed magazine images or just crafted in a certain way through social media. When we let go of that need for perfection, we get to enjoy life as it unfolds, whether in creative endeavors or in the simple moments. Did you see my photo of my yoga practice the other day? Things pushed out of the way, terrible lighting in the photo? I shared it to show you the truth of what life looks like around it, to help shatter this false notion of perfection.

The practice of believing you can bring your vision to fruition is more important than the outcome.

In order to keep moving forward, you have to believe in yourself and in your vision. Believing in your vision does not mean it needs to turn out the way that you see it now. There is always the possibility to shift and grow into the vision, because you are ever changing, as are the circumstances of your life. So many journeys have begun with a specific intention, rooted in deep desire, and have brought us to places we never could have expected and never would have been able to dream up, but they feel inevitable now. Have you had that happen before? If you have, you know you can trust that journey.

Ganesha showed me I could do what I thought could not be done.

Ganesha is the remover of obstacles and has been the deity that I have felt deepest connection to for many years. Ganesha reminds me to let go of what clutters my mind, to break the chains of the negative self talk, and to keep reaching forward instead of holding onto the past. This week, it was quite literally through the carving of the image of Ganesha into a pumpkin that I was reminded to remove the obstacle of the old story that was playing once again, and to just be in the moment and trust.

Allow your vision to arise from your heart.

We can spend our lives settling – for easy, for straight forward, for what we think we’re supposed to do. Or, we can quiet the mind, listen to the heart, and really tune in and discover what we desire. When we do this, we find our way into the flow, releasing obstacles, and making our way closer and closer to that vision that resides deep within us.

What lessons have you learned when self doubt has crept in and you kept going anyway? I’d love it if you’d share in the comments below!

Why I Create

IMG_20160617_215300I got home Friday evening, put Chloe to bed, and found myself called to vision for the first time in weeks, maybe months.

My creative energy has recently been filled with malas and bracelets and necklaces, and I have been guided by this flow.

Friday night, as I entered the final week before my first festival where I will be selling my malas, my energy felt pulled in a different direction and I allowed it to carry me.

Creation is a transference of energy, at least I believe it is.

If you try to create against the natural flow of your energy, you are bound to find yourself frustrated in the face of obstacles real and imagined.

And so I found myself wondering, why do I create?

I create to shift the energy around me.

When I make something with my hands, I can feel the energy work through me. Much like with the physical yoga practice, the energy is given a direction in which to flow. In the case of my creative work – whether writing, jewelry, vision pages, or even redecorating and reorganizing my home, the energy flows out of me and becomes something new. I free it. I do not hold into it. It is not mine, it never was. It was always ours to share.

I create to find stillness of mind.

When I am creating, this magic takes place where my mind quiets, the thoughts do not race, and I become immersed in what is before me. One knot and then the next and then the next. Cut this image and glue it here. Find the word or phrase that jumps out at me even if I do no understand why. My creative time allows me to just be, even though I am doing. It allows me to forget for a while about the stresses, the fears, the sadness, or the overwhelm.

I create out of love.

Creativity does not do the magic if it tries to be born of necessity. When I create what feels like my best, I can feel the love I am pouring into it and it is a reminder to me that there is always more love to share. In sharing love, I fill myself back up again.

I create to find understanding.

Whether insight comes through the meditative motions of creating a mala, through my ideas as I write out whatever comes to mind, or through words and images that bring forth an image of dreams perhaps previously hidden, my creative process allows me to understand more about who I am and what my path and purpose are.

I create for connection.

I know when I am in my creative process that I am in this flow of energy with everything in the world. The woman siting next to me writing, my daughter at art camp, my friends and strangers who are living creatively – we are all connected by this thread of creativity.

I create for you.

My hope, always, is that my words, images, jewelry, ideas, spark something in you. I hope to inspire you to continue to take steps towards your sacred becoming, trusting along the way that when you follow the flow, you will feel deeply alive.

Why do you create? Leave a comment in the blog and share with us!

Things Take the Time They Take

things take the time they takeI was 17 when I met my husband and I was not seeking a husband, or love, or even a relationship. And yet there I was, at his house for a party on the 4th of July, discovering that we had many mutual friends, and laughing, laughing, laughing.

After that night, we starting spending time together often, and without even trying or realizing, found ourselves still spending time together as weeks, months, and eventually years went by.

This is how it happens.

Sometimes we have to put the dream down, let it rest (or maybe be not even know yet that we have it) and we have to follow the flow of where life leads us. That night, life led me to his house.

We have to trust that the timing is not in our control, that the circumstances might not look like what we expected or thought we desired, and that if our heart and eyes remain open, love will always guide us on this journey.

This will not always feel easy, and that is okay.

Sometimes it will feel downright painful.

It might make you feel broken – you are not.

It might make you feel lost – look closely and you will find your way.

It might make you feel like giving up the dream – instead, release it to the trust and love of the Universe.

The seeds have been planted in your heart.

You can plant a seed in a garden but you are not the one responsible for the wind, the rain, and the condition of the soil.

Of course you can help by protecting the seed as best you can from the wind, watering it when the rain does not come, and adding necessary nutrients to the soil.

And then you have to release, trusting that if the seed is meant to take root and grow, then it will.

Mary Oliver wrote, “things take the time they take.”

The work, the bravery, is in giving them the space to do so.

With Love and Gratitude,
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Sometimes You Have to Wipe the Slate Clean

I came home from teaching yoga and knew I would have the house to myself for a while.

I took off my shoes and coat, and told myself that I would get around to putting some music on at some point.

I decided to work from wall to window, starting with the wall unit that sits between our front door and our bedroom door. It is my view from my desk and when I walked in that day, it was a mess. There was clutter filling the shelves (old batteries, twinkle lights that didn’t work, buttons and paperclips and old light bulbs, papers ready to be recycled, a few things I had been looking for).

I took everything off. Emptied the shelves. Made space for possibility.

That’s what we do when we remove the clutter. We make space for possibility.

To see what I wanted to place on those shelves with intention, I needed everything to go, even what I knew would come back.

I cleaned the shelves and then with care began to rebuild the space into a sacred alter.

I found a home for my new piece of amethyst, one of my #33gifts during this month of celebrating my birthday.

amethyst altar

I found a home for my new buddha (another gift to myself).

story altar

I created a shelf for love…

love altar

And a shelf honoring our cats…

cat altar

I burned incense and stepped back every once in a while, moving over to my desk, to see what needed to be shifted.

Some items came off of my desk alter and moved to the wall, some items from the wall came over to my desk.

It was this beautiful dance.

In what seemed like an instant, four hours had passed, the music had never gotten turned on, and I realized that my thoughts never wandered. I never got lost in the things I had to do or what was happening later that day.

In the space where we live now, shifting furniture around doesn’t always come easily, and that’s how I used to shift my energy. What I learned the other day was that I can shift the energy with sacred intention.

The wall until is just the beginning. Our home will be our alter. Our home will be our sacred space.

We’ll shed the clutter, the layers, and open ourselves to possibility….

With Love and Gratitude,
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Joy is…

Friday morning funHere’s a little something from my heart to yours on this wonderful rainy Friday

 

Joy is…

 

Waking up with the ones I love most

 

Being able to clean up Chloe’s toys in less than 10 minutes

 

Discovering the beauty of space that was hidden by unnecessary “stuff”

 

Walking into a clean kitchen, inviting me to create in health and happiness

 

Being okay with not being perfect

 

Following my heart, my passions, my dreams

 

Learning about the world from Chloe as much, if not more, than she learns from me

 

Sipping tea in the morning as I look out at the trees from our balcony

 

Finding stillness amidst chaos

 

Anything that happens on my yoga mat

 

Feeling love love love from those in my life


What is Joy for you?

 

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Finding the Flow

We’re trying a new sleep routine with Chloe.  Well, I should say we’re trying a sleep routine with Chloe.  We never really had one, and it seemed to work pretty well for everyone involved.  Most of the time.  Except for those days when I’d spend hours trying to get her to nap, and I was the one left feeling exhausted.

 

 

Looking back, this style seems to be more than a parenting style, but a lifestyle for me.  Even when I knew that I wanted to prepare myself for healthy conception and pregnancy, I didn’t go to extremes.  I didn’t diet.  I didn’t cut out foods cold turkey (which feels funny to write, vegetarian that I am).  I didn’t let myself go mad thinking of all the things I needed to do.  Well, maybe that last one a little.

 

Here’s the point – slow and steady wins the race.  I started where it made the most sense to me, which happened to be in my bathroom.  Then I let the changes evolve from there.  Piece by piece, my habits shifted to where I needed them to be.

 

Did I have it all down before I got pregnant?  Well, no.  Our home was free of toxic products, both self-care and cleaning.  I was going to yoga regularly (this was huge for me!).  I was no longer relying on the vending machine at work for snacks – I was feeding myself (and my baby) bananas and nut butter, red peppers and hummus, and yes, some healthier versions of frozen meals (those are largely gone from my life now).

 

Do I have it all down now?  Well, no.  Chloe and I regularly drink green smoothies.  I’m finally tackling the clutter in our home.  I’m finding more calm and ease with myself and those around me.

 

I’m getting there.  I’m also learning more, everyday.  It’s not about reaching this place of having it all figured out, it’s about enjoying the process, the journey, and going with the flow.

 

Are you looking for some guidance as you figure out your journey?

 

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Out of Your Comfort Zone and into Your Joy

Chloe sleeping on mama

Yes, that’s me stuck under my sleeping Chloe.

Being Where We Are

 

Life is happening all around me in all its forms these days – good, bad, exciting and new, old and stale, scary, fun, challenging. What happens to many of us when there is such a flurry of feelings flying around us, is that we get stuck.

 

We see the wonderful things in our lives, but they somehow feel less important to us than the bad. The bad drags us down, and there we stay, stuck in our despair, until someone who loves us comes along and pulls us out.

 

I’m here to pull you out.

 

So here’s what’s really going on – you’re comfortable.

 

It sounds crazy, but you’re comfortable in the misery. It’s probably a place you’ve been many times before, and even though you don’t like it, the feelings are familiar.

 

This is where we get stuck, in the feeling comfortable. To get unstuck, we need to take steps outside of our comfort zones and breathe in the air. What does that feel like, this new place, this place where you want to be? Does it feel freeing? Joyful? Exciting and inviting? Envision this as your life.

 

Now don’t get caught up in figuring out how to get there – that’s when you’ll slowly, quietly, step back into your place of comfort. I invite you to stay outside your comfort zone and imagine what life could be if you built your foundation from this new place.

 

  • Easing the fear and worry that comes with becoming and being a mama

 

  • Letting go of what you can’t control

 

  • Embracing what you can and loving yourself up

 

  • Honoring where you are, right now, and knowing that it’s the perfect place to be

 

I’d love to hear where you’re getting stuck and where you could most use support. Leave me a comment below or send me an email and let me know what’s going on in your world.

 

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Simplicity

Do you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by an ever growing to-do
list?  You know, where you cross one thing off, and add two more?

This can turn into a big problem really fast because that
overwhelm gets you feeling stuck.  Not only don’t you get the
day-to-day things on the list done, but you lose sight of the
thing that matters most – taking care of yourself.  Good self
-care is crucial to preparing for pregnancy, having a pregnancy
full of joy, and being a new mama without feeling like
everything has gotten away from you.  Also, when we don’t find a
way to get the basics taken care of, including that all
important self-care piece, our stress goes through the roof, and
things start to unravel left and right.

Here’s the deal – even if you’re not a systems person, you need
to have some sort of guide to help you accomplish the needs so
you can also make time for the wants.  Without a plan, you’ll
likely find it next to impossible to work, get the laundry and
errands done, clean, feed yourself and your family healthy and
nourishing foods, and find time for the things in life that you
love.  This is an ugly spiral, and I’ve been there, and I’m here
to help you stay on the path to health and happiness, instead of
the spiral of overwhelm and inaction.

Prioritize – Know that you can’t do everything all at once, all
in one day, or even sometimes all in one week.  At the start of
the week, make a list of the top 3 things that need to get
accomplished, and focus your tasks each day on getting those 3
goals met.

Be flexible – Life is going on around us all the time, and
unexpected things happen that require our attention.  Knowing
this, and being okay with this, will help you to move with ease
through whatever comes your way.

Simplify – From cleaning to food to self-care, things can be as
easy or as complicated as you make them, so take this
opportunity to choose that path of simplicity.  You don’t need
to cook an elaborate meal every night of the week, clean the
house from top to bottom every day and carve out hours of you
time each and every day.  Pick some family mealtime favorites
and keep your kitchen stocked with the needed ingredients, pick
one room or cleaning task to focus on each day and rotate
through them, and enjoy the simple things – a cup of tea while
everyone else is sleeping, or your alone time in the shower.

Focus – When the time comes to work on a particular project,
whether it is at work or at home, let all of your focus be there
for whatever amount of time you can give it.  Throw yourself
into it full force, and you will get the best work done.  Turn
off distractions – television, phone, extra windows on your
computer.  Set a timer if you need to, and just let that time be
for one specific thing.  When you are done, you can take a break
or move onto the next thing on your list.

Enjoy – Find ways to bring pleasure to all that you do.  Let’s
face it, sometimes we love what we’re doing, and sometimes we’d
rather be doing anything else.  When you can incorporate some
element that you love, the whole experience gets better.  If the
kitchen isn’t your favorite place but you are determined to cook
more, put on your favorite music, invite over your best friend
(or your best little helper), and be open to experimenting and
having fun!

These tips will help you start to feel the simplicity and joy in
your life no matter what you are doing – taking better care of
yourself and your family through fresh and wholesome foods,
making your space a cleaner and more enjoyable place to live, or
finding time to tune in and make time for you.  Remember that
making the shift to lasting habits isn’t always easy and it
certainly doesn’t come overnight, but it doesn’t need to lead to
overwhelm if you keep it simple.

Where do you find yourself getting stuck and overwhelmed?  I’d
love to hear from you, so please leave a comment here or in the Sacred Becoming Sanctuary.

Loving the Process

Have you ever experienced walking in the wind?  There are two things that can happen – you can walk into the wind, pushing harder and harder to take the smallest steps.  Sometimes you have to use all of your energy to keep yourself from falling over.  Other times, you may be lucky enough to have the wind at your back.  In these moments, it can feel almost as if you’re gliding, floating.

 

When you try to make change in your life, whether it’s small or large, it can often feel like walking in the wind, and most often like walking into the wind.  It can feel like an upward battle, as if the world is pushing back, trying to keep you from your goals – deterring you and not supporting you.
What is really pushing back though?
It is certainly a force like the wind – powerful and unseen, but it most always resides within you.  It often comes from fear – not just fear of failure, but fear of success.  Fear that you don’t have enough time or money to make your goals reality.  Fear that you will not reach your goals, or that there will always be more goals and that you will be left feeling unsatisfied in your life.  Have you experienced this?
Now think for a minute what it would feel like if you had the wind at your back.  In this place, you accept the person that you are right now, you recognize where you are and where you want to be.  You know that there is a path to get you there, and you feel the full support from yourself and from those who love you.  You can see and feel what it will be like to reach your goals, and you believe in them, and in yourself.  With the wind at your back, you feel confident that you can reach your goals and love your life.

The key to feeling the wind at your back is simple – love the process.

 

It is so easy to get caught up in self-doubt, in feeling like each step towards your goals is a struggle that you have to force yourself through instead of one that you approach with love and compassion.  I want to show you how easy it is to love the process, to love your life, and to reach your goals.

 

  • Set goals that have meaning for you You are the one in charge of creating the life that you want, so create goals that lead you to that life.  When you can deeply connect to the why behind the goal, it has so much more power to push you forward.  For example, if you want to reduce your caffeine intake as you prepare for pregnancy, you could look at it in two ways: Setting a goal to stop drinking coffee may feel like deprivation of something you love, it may feel like walking into the wind; but setting a goal of creating a healthy space for your baby by shifting away from the things that may harm him will likely send you running in that direction.  You’ve gone beyond the what and focused on the why.

 

  • Find compassion for yourself Making change, especially big change, is difficult, and it can take time.  Release the expectations that it all needs to happen overnight and that you must be perfect in your new habits 100% of the time.  You would likely support a friend who ate that slice of pizza for lunch and regretted it by reminding her that it’s okay to deviate from the plan once in a while, and that is doesn’t represent failure.  Learn to tell yourself the same thing.  We often push against ourselves by being our own worst critics.  When we can let this voice go, or quiet it, we open space to be our biggest fan.

 

  • Have fun – Life should be fun, no matter what.  It makes the good times even better and it gets us through the difficult times.  When making change, it is so important to have fun with it, or you’re likely not reaping the full benefits of the changes that you are making.  If you’re trying to spend more time in the kitchen cooking whole, fresh foods and that’s just never been something you’ve enjoyed, invite some friends over and make a party out of it.  When you’re surrounded by those you life, even the things you like least in life become more enjoyable.

 

I hope you are able to feel more prepared to walk with the wind at your back, pushing you along, instead of struggling as you walk into it.  If you would like support as you learn to love the process, I’d love to be that support for you! Let’s chat.

 

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Trying New Things

How do we push ourselves to do things that we most want to in life?

 

I’m talking about both the things we know are important so we can be healthier and the things we know we want to do to become the people we are truly meant to be.  It’s easy to sit down and write a list of habits we want to change, hobbies we want to try and goals that we have for ourselves.  The trouble often comes when we try to implement these things.  If you’re like me, you often start a project full of steam and excited to dig into it.  After a few days or weeks, life starts to get in the way, you lose your focus, and you find yourself back out of the habit.

 

What happens next is really no good – you get down on yourself.  You get frustrated that you weren’t able to follow through and you figure that you just can’t make it happen.  What if you had a new way of approaching these goals?  A way that broke it down into easier to handle steps, where you could focus on 1 new habit at a time instead of trying to create total change overnight.

 

I recently watched a great video by Matt Cutts where he discussed an idea of Morgan Spurlock’s – try something new for 30 days.  The concept is to take something that you want to do and do it consistently for 30 days.  Getting yourself in the habit of focusing on one thing for 30 days takes away the feeling of being overwhelmed and can be really empowering at the end of the month.  Here’s how you can get started right away:

 

Set your goal for the month – If you have many goals for the new year, write them all down.  Then prioritize.  If you could know that you would have one solidly in place a month from now, which one would make you feel like you’ve made the most progress?  It could be exercising everyday, keeping your kitchen clean, or spending time outside – whatever you want! Pick one goal for each month.  You don’t need to pick them all right now.

 

Know what you need to make it happen – If you’re going to need the support of others or if you’ll have to change your schedule around a bit, do it now so that it can’t get in the way.  If you want to start cooking more, pick recipes that you want to try ahead of time and make sure you have what you need in the kitchen.  It can be pretty easy to set ourselves up for success – it just takes a little preparation.

 

Write it down – It’s much easier to stay with something if you’re writing it down.  This could be as simple as a list with every day of the month where you put a check mark when you’ve done your current new thing.  If you want to really keep track of what the change is doing for you, write in more detail so you can see the progress you’ve made over the course of the month.

 

Once you’ve done this 30 Day Challenge a couple of times, you’ll likely start to see how simple it can be to create change in your life when you’re not trying to make it all happen overnight.  So are you up for it?  Share your first challenge in the comments below or over in the Sacred Becoming Sanctuary, and get support from others in the community as you create lasting change.

 

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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